Yes, we usually restrict ourselves to passenger vehicles, but cool don’t lie, especially when it’s rolling on this many wheels and is packed with this much carbon fiber. Oh yeah, and a turbine. A freakin’ turbine. Behold the new Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience concept truck, or WAVE for short.
Developed with the help of Peterbilt and Capstone Turbine, the WAVE looks positively bad-ass and almost alien, with its tapered nose, angry bird headlamps, and black front “mask” that encompasses the floor-to-ceiling windshield and the sunroof. The sides of the sleeper cab feature sliding doors, upswept windows, and concept-car-like camera mirrors. All wheels are covered in aero panels, and even the entry steps are beautifully integrated into the sweeping fenders. The open and spacious interior places the driver in the center of the cab—McLaren F1-style!—and features customizable gauges with “performance data.”
As for the trailer, it was designed in partnership with Great Dane Trailers and is almost entirely composed of carbon fiber, saving around 4000 pounds over a conventional box, according to Walmart. And according to Walmart, this is the first time one-piece, 53-foot-long panels of carbon fiber have been manufactured.
Powering this amazing creature is a “prototype turbine-powered range-extending series hybrid powertrain.” According to a statement from Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, it can run on diesel fuel, natural gas, biodiesel, “and probably other fuels still to be developed.” Naturally, the truck incorporates a battery pack and an electric motor, but specs are unknown at this point.
The WAVE project is part of Walmart’s efforts to green up its fleet operations and move toward using 100 percent renewable energy. (Side note: It’s not the first supercool Walmart truck we’ve covered—check out Walmart Canada’s “Supercube” prototype.) And while the WAVE is strictly a concept at this point, Walmart says it is beginning formal testing. “It may never make it to the road,” said McMillon, “but it will allow us to test new technologies and new approaches.” Want to see it move? Watch this clip:
It’s been a while since we tested a big rig, but we’re eager to give it another go. So if Walmart wants some help in that department, we’re totally down.
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